SOC229 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Fairview Mall, Victimless Crime, Voyeurism

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Lecture 10
Tearoom Trade
1. Describe and critically analyze Humphrey’s research sample and methodology,
2. Compare Humphreys’ study to Desroches sample of tearoom participants,
3. Define and explain the watch queen and other voyeur roles
4. Critically analyze ethical issues related to Humphreys study
5. Explain the location of tearooms and how they are discovered, and
6. Describe the research benefits of Humphreys interviews with a dozen tearoom
Defining tearooms
Impersonal sex in public places (men’s washroom)
Widespread but understudied (Victoria park, Fairview mall)
Also known as “cottaging” – (called because washrooms look like cottages) (UK)
Male behaviour
Victimless crime, no jail time
Not in criminal code, designated morally offensive by judges
Scope of Humphrey’s research
Public nature of act – exposure to arrest and identity
Homosexual himself, activist for gay rights
Suspected of involvement himself
- Making study controversial
- Ethical guidelines of universities introduced
- He did not obtain consent
Discovering Tearooms (Humphrey)
Direct observation (Humphrey as ‘watch queen’ – he served as a look out, surveyed made
sure police wasn’t there, normal people wouldn’t walk in the bathroom)
Depth interviews (intensive 12)
Solicited interviews at homes – tracked men down
Frequented out of the way washrooms – developed a typology (signs)
- Isolated, close to expressway, few people/cars
Identifying active tearooms (police)
Complaints filed, police surveillance
- Long periods in washroom, men sitting in cars
- Graffiti that is graphic and instructional
- Broken pane of glass for lookout
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